Former Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane (Retd) said that the 2019 air strike on Jaish-e-(JeM) Mohammed’s advance training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot was a clear message that if anyone tries to hurt India, they will suffer more.
General Naravane said in a podcast with Smita Prakash, in response to a question about how to deal with a country that is a “rogue nation” and has nuclear weapons, “We hit them, and they did come back the next day. One of our planes crashed, and Commander Abhinandan was also hurt. It’s not that what we did didn’t cause a response.”
“But once again, we need to look at the bigger picture, which is that we have shown that we are willing to strike. Again, it doesn’t matter how many terrorists we killed or how many innocent people we hurt. We have already told you that if you do something to us, we will do something to you that is even worse than what you did to us. This is the message that gets across, and it is the most important one. “The bigger picture and the message that has been sent is that if you try the stunts, you will suffer more than we do,” he said.
In response to another question, the former Army Chief said, “On a larger scale, it is important to win the information war, and that has become very important in the age of interconnectivity and social media.”
“It’s not enough to win the war on the ground; we also have to win the war of perception, which means we have to play a whole new ball game at a much higher and national level. A battalion commander saying something can’t be done at the ground level. Together, we will have to make peace, and that story will show that we really did win the war on the ground. Both of these are now very important,” he said.
The Balakot air strikes were done by the Air Force in response to the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy by terrorists, in which 44 people died.
On February 26, IAF fighter jets attacked a JeM training camp in Balakot, Pakistan. The next day, Islamabad tried to attack Indian military installations as a way to get back at India. But the IAF was able to stop them.
India said after the air strikes that a large number of terrorists had been killed. Pakistan, on the other hand, called India’s claim “reckless” and said it would respond “when and where it wants.”